Wigan Athletic 0 Newcastle United 2: Diame and Atsu send club back to top

Mohamed Diame, left, and Yoan Gouffran
Mohamed Diame, left, and Yoan Gouffran
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Newcastle United returned to the top of the Championship tonight.

Goals from Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu gave Rafa Benitez's side a hard-fought 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, where the club was backed by more than 4,000 fans.

And the result saw Newcastle go a point clear of second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion ahead of Saturday's game against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.

United made a positive start, and Diame gave them the lead with a superb 26th minute goal.

The former Wigan midfielder broke forward from the right and exchanged passed with Isaac Hayden on the edge of the box before beating Jussi Jaaskelainen with a side-footed finish.

Newcastle were dominant before the break, but it was a different story in the second half.

They were given a series of scares by Warren Joyce's committed side before Benitez replaced Matt Ritchie with Atsu in the 69th minute.

And the winger made sure of all three points with a clinical finish 12 minutes from time after a good move down the left.

WIGAN ATHLETIC: Jaaskelainen, Garbutt (Kellett, 20), Warnock, Buxton, Morgan (Burn, 68), Power, MacDonald, Perkins, Jacobs, Wildschut, Grigg. Subs not used: Lavercombe, Byrne, Le Fondre, Gomez, Davies.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie (Atsu, 69), Diame, Gouffran; Gayle (Perez, 82). Subs not used: Sels, Yedlin, Lazaar, Mbemba, Mitrovic.

Goals: Diame 26, Atsu 78

Bookings: Hayden 32

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 14,562